Oops Alert!: Three-Way Luncheon Collision Scheduled For Wednesday, March 8

Dallas fundraising is less than two months into the 2017 marathon for local nonprofits and there’s already a major collision in sight. It takes place on Wednesday, March 8. Despite Monday, March 6, and Thursday, March 7, being pretty vacant of noontime goings-on, three groups honed in on that Wednesday for their luncheon moneymakers.

And to make matters worse, two of ‘em are taking place at the same venue. Here’s the rundown:

Lyda Hill (File photo)

Steve Mansfield (File photo)

Now, if you’re swift of feet and have plenty of buying power, you might try to hit all three. On the other hand, it’s too bad that the three couldn’t have been spread through the week, so a Solomon-like choice will have to be made.

Oops Alert: Family Gateway’s “Gateway To Opportunity” Luncheon Is Tuesday, Not Wednesday

It’s Monday. It’s wet. It’s cool-ish. It has all the elements for an oopsie taking place. And that’s what happened. Normally, most “oopsies” at other media outlets would just be dismissed as, “So who cares?” But this one has organizers a wee bit concerned, so we’re setting the record straight.

Jenna Bush Hager*

Jenna Bush Hager*

Ron Corning (File photo)

Ron Corning (File photo)

It seems that a daily newspaper column on philanthropy reported bright and early this morning that the Family Gateway’s “Gateway To Opportunity” featuring Jenna Bush Hager at the Omni Dallas Hotel was taking place on Wednesday. So, what’s so earth-shattering about that? Jenna will indeed be at the Omni and she’ll have a chat with WFAA’s Ron Corning. And it will benefit Family Gateway for homeless families with children.

The problem is that it’s taking place tomorrow, like Tuesday, instead of Wednesday.

As of 9:30 a.m. today, the website still had the incorrect date, so please think Tuesday. Because if you show up Wednesday, you’re gonna miss out on Jenna, Ron and a whole lot of your friends.

BTW, some tickets are still available here.

* Photo provided by Family Gateway

Oops Alert!: Local Monthly Publication Suffers Awkward Boo-Boo In Publishing 2016 Crystal Charity Ball “Ten Best Dressed”

Some of the best things end up on the cutting room floor. For instance, Kevin Costner’s speaking role as Alex Marshall in the flashback scenes in “The Big Chill” didn’t make it to the big screen. Johnny Depp’s performance in “Platoon,” Charlie Chaplin in the “Keystone Cops,” and John Lithgow’s super-agent Harry Zell in “L.A. Story” all suffered the same fate.

Whatever the reason, directors lived to regret the elimination of such talented types.

So, folks at a local newspaper are wringing their hands about their recent publishing of Crystal Charity Ball‘s “Ten Best Dressed.” It seems that in their September issue, in which they printed Q&As with the 2016 crop, they had an “oopsie.” They left out one of the 10 and ironically it was the one who dutifully followed instructions, filled out the questionnaire and promptly returned it.

While her absence from the article was in all probability not intentional, it was awkward and unfortunate at best.

Pat Harloe (File photo)

Pat Harloe (File photo)

Oh, you’re wondering: Which one was MIA? None other than one of everybody’s favs, the adorably diminutive Pat Harloe.

Unbeknownst to Pat, the MySweetCharity crew managed to get a copy of her questionnaire and present it here for your consideration:

  • Tell us about your family — “I am married to John (an investment manager), and we have five adult children — ages 30 to 37 — with careers running the gamut:  law, medicine, design, marketing and sales — and all living east coast to west coast and in between –“
  • List three community/charitable/civic activities in which you are currently involved or you currently support (with a sentence or two about the cause) — “(a)  TexProtects — past event chair and current supporter; TexProtects’ mission is to reduce and prevent child abuse and neglect through research, education and advocacy. (b)  One Heart Project — current supporter; One Heart Project’s mission is to mentor incarcerated and at-risk youth, ages 13 to 17, in six Texas counties so that they have a positive re-entry into their community (c)  And, of course — my heart — Crystal Charity Ball — active member and life supporter.”
  • What is your current support/involvement in the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball? — “I am working hard in three areas:  Underwriting, Children’s Book, and Silent Auction/Special Gifts (my favorite — love bringing in top hotels and resorts).”
  • What is your educational background? — “Greenbrier College for Women and Southern Methodist University.”
  • What is your current/previous career or work history? — “Always sales and marketing:  up until five years ago, residential and high rise real estate; prior to that, high-end 19th and 20th century art.”
  • Please complete this sentence: My favorite thing about the Crystal Charity Ball is … — “Hands down, the impact we have with at-risk children’s lives.  Sitting through long days of Charity Selection, there are times when there is not a dry eye in the room, and we wish we could fund every candidate put before us.  In the end, it is all about giving every child a shot at a better life …”
  • My favorite fashion icon is — “Coco Chanel — who could not resist a woman who embodied humor, grand gestures and drama all at the same time?”
Carolina Herrera (File photo)

Carolina Herrera (File photo)

And, don’t go worrying about the Friday, September 16th presentation at Neiman Marcus Downtown. Pat will be there along with the other nine BD-ers (Anita Arnold, Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Tucker Enthoven, Heather Esping, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Julie Hawes and Piper Wyatt), Hall of Famer Betsy Sowell and legendary designer Carolina Herrera, who will receive the prestigious Neiman Marcus Award.

If you already have your ticket to the ultra-sold-out fundraiser, we’ll see you there. If not, we’ll see you here following the fashion fest!

Two Great Fundraisers Were Victims Of A Head-On Collision

An unfortunate situation took place Friday, April 1. It wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. It was the taking place of two fundraising luncheons that divided the efforts for those in need. At the Hilton Anatole, Community Partners of DallasChick Lit Luncheon was celebrating its 10the anniversary with 1,100 and Tim Gunn on stage.

Tim Gunn

Tim Gunn

Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb

Over at the Dallas Country Club, Today Co-Host Hoda Kotb was the featured speaker for more than 350 at the Interfaith Dallas – Family Services‘ (formerly known as Interfaith Housing Coalition) Interfaith Auxiliary Luncheon.

Both speakers were beyond remarkable, with guests from each event swearing theirs was the best in ages. But one has to wonder, “What if….?”

What’s that? “What if….what?” It’s, “What if they had been held 24 hours apart?” The guests probably could have squeezed enough money out of their budgets and time to attend both, thereby supporting CPD as well as Interfaith. In turn, they would have been the recipients of two memory-making programs.

Sure, organizers are at the mercy of speakers’ and entertainers’ schedules, but if such a collision of fundraising can be prevented, it really benefits all.

One way to avoid similar situations is to check the MySweetCharity Calendar. If a fundraiser is already on a particular date, then it might be wise to pick another date. Basic MSC Calendar listings are absolutely free to provide the information for one and all. Bells and whistles can be added for a minimal cost.

WaterTower Theatre Wants To Give Due Credit For Addison Theatre Centre Main Stage’s New Custom Seats

It’s always nice to give credit where credit is due. Recently another media outlet published a story that reported new custom seats at Addison’s WaterTower Theatre were made possible “thanks to Barbara and Don Daseke and the town of Addison. The Dasekes gave the lead gift of $75,000.”

Good for them! But it seems something was left out of the report. So WaterTower representatives issued the following right-official statement to set the record straight:

“WaterTower Theatre recently completed a capital campaign to install new theatre seating in the Addison Theatre Centre Main Stage. The campaign raised more than $125,000 to pay for custom seating in the 200-seat theatre located inside the Addison Theatre Centre. Lead donors Barbara and Don Daseke with Janiece and Jimmy Niemann with additional support from The Town of Addison made the installation of new seats possible.”

Why, they even sent along a photo showing the two happy couples, city officials and WaterTower leadership.

Todd Meier, Mary Carpenter, Barbara and Don Daseke, Janiece and Jimmy Niemann, Derek Blount and Ben Cunningham*

Todd Meier, Mary Carpenter, Barbara and Don Daseke, Janiece and Jimmy Niemann, Derek Blount and Ben Cunningham*

Just wanted to make sure that pats on the back were distributed to all who made the installation possible. Now, all the patrons will have comfy seats to take in the WaterTower productions.

* Photo credit: Kelsey Leigh Ervi

Oops Alert!: Photos Of NorthPark Pioneers EG Hamilton And Lee Starr Are Making The Rounds With The Wrong ID’s

Event photographers are an important part of the North Texas fundraising scene. As great as it is for them to snap nice-looking photos of folks at all types of activities, they have to get the subjects’ names right, too. In many cases, the organization sponsoring the event arranges to have a “name taker” assist the photographer.

Unfortunately, the stars were not in alignment for the Neiman Marcus-NorthPark black-tie event on Wednesday, October 28. The results? Photos have been distributed by Neiman’s with a couple of major misidentifications that other media outlets are posting/publishing and photo services are offering based on the information provided. Thus, the Internet is starting to show signs of a string of misinformation.

Neiman’s has been alerted to the situation and is “notifying BFA as they provided the ID’s.”

Just in case BFA hasn’t contacted your neighborhood newsletter, the two most outrageous errors involve NorthPark legends who helped the late Patsy and Ray Nasher more than 50 years ago to create a world-famous retail center. Please note the photos below are the correctly ID-ed:

EG Hamilton

EG Hamilton

EG Hamilton, the award-winning architect who designed NorthPark.

Jacqueline Starr, Louise Eiseman and Lee Starr

Jacqueline Starr, Louise Eiseman and Lee Starr

Lee Starr, the president of Titche-Goettinger when the department store was one of four original NorthPark anchors, with his wife Jacqueline Starr and Louise Eiseman.

It may not seem like a really big deal to some. After all, these gents aren’t one of The Kardashians or a presidential wannabe. Besides, all gray-haired 90-somethings look alike, right?  Oh, please!

These two men, who worked with the Nashers and the late Stanley Marcus to create a remarkable undertaking, should be treated with the respect that they deserve.

Round Robin October 14 Part II: Champion Of Children Award And Les Femmes Du Monde Woman Of The Year Dinners

One of the MySweetCharity elves was so weary s/he missed these two events that were supposed to be posted with the October 14th Round Robin. The elf is taking some time off…an hour to be exact to catch up on their sleep needs. In the meantime, check out what Les Femmes Du Monde and Dallas CASA folks were doing the evening of Wednesday, October 14.

Champion of Children Award Dinner

Jerry and Gene Jones and Kathleen and Michael LaValle*

Jerry and Gene Jones and Kathleen and Michael LaValle*

Over at the Fairmont Dallas, the excitement was palpable at the jam-packed reception before Dallas CASA’s big annual fundraising dinner. AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson was making a rare public appearance, shaking hands and mingling with the crowd. Not far away, the Dallas Cowboys’ First Couple Gene and Jerry Jones were doing the same. All around them were guests like Event Co-Chairs Jana and Mike Brosin, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Christie Carter and Caroline Rose Hunt. Also spotted: Cortland Grynwald, lead co-chair of Attorneys Serving the Community, which named Dallas CASA its 2015-2016 beneficiary.

Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones*

Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones*

Greg May and Randall Stephenson*

Greg May and Randall Stephenson*

Dallas CASA president and executive director Kathleen LaValle was saying the dinner crowd of about 550 would be the fundraiser’s biggest ever. “We’re so excited to honor AT&T,” she said. “Three of their executives are on our board, and we’re honored to be honoring them.” Dallas CASA gave its Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award to the telecom giant at the dinner.

It also heard from Ashley Rhodes-Courter, a best-selling author whose book, Three Little Words, described her nine years in foster care. Rhodes-Courter was interviewed by Gloria Campos, the event’s honorary chair.

Les Femmes Du Monde Woman Of The Year Dinner

Across town at the Dallas Country Club, meanwhile, Realtor Virginia E. Cook was being honored as Les Femmes du Monde’s 2015 Woman of the Year. About 150 guests enjoyed dinner (Panzanella salad, Boursin chicken, Julienned vegetables, chocolate mousse) and a tastefully-done video tribute to Cook starring the likes of Herb Weitzman, Roger Staubach, Tincy Miller and Lee Kleinman.

Emcee Jody Dean kept the program moving along, delivering quips like this one about Les Femmes du Monde President Alyce Heinrich: “She asks and won’t take no for an answer. It’s like talking to a tornado,” Dean said. “A wonderful, gracious tornado.” Heinrich was ably assisted at the podium by Dinner Chair Venise Stuart, who warned before the video played: “You’re going to need tissues.”

After the SMU Stampede singers serenaded Virginia with tunes like “Blackbird” by the Beatles and “My Girl,” Heinrich took to the dance floor to cut an elaborate rug with her longtime dance instructor. “You’ve heard of ‘War and Peace’?” Alyce’s dance partner asked when the couple finally took a break. “I’m Warren Slaughter.”

* Photo credit: Lara Bierner

JUST IN: Dallas Opera’s First Night Results In Photographic Casualty

Kristina Bowman (This is not a selfie)

Kristina Bowman (This is not a selfie)*

It seems The Dallas Opera‘s First Night resulted in a visit by paramedics.

Event photographer Kristina Bowman took a very nasty spill shooting the after-party. She ended up being transported to Baylor to have her knee checked out.

Just heard from Lady Kristina, who’s snoozing after pulling an all-nighter in Baylor’s ER.  Instead of calling to check on her, emails would be better.

Guess that cancels out any trick or treating for Kristina tonight.

* Photo courtesy of 
Kristina Bowman

JUST IN: Crane Makes Surprise Landing On Dallas Museum Of Art

This morning it appears that a crane involved in the construction of the 2015 Art Ball tent lost its bearings and tipped onto the Dallas Museum of Art. The good news is that it missed sculptor Mark di Suvero’s “Ave”.  The better news is that the only injury was the crane driver, who bumped his head.

For a photo of the toppled crane, check here.

Perhaps Max Anderson and his crew are considering just leaving the crane there as a new addition to the DMA’s modern art collection.

OOPS ALERT: Park Cities Cause May Have Broken A Dallas Law

Oh, dear! It may have happened again. According to reports, those lovely folks at Robert S. Hyer Elementary School PTA had a fundraiser last Friday at the F.I.G. Nothing is better than fundraising for education. They had all types of auction items like trips and dinners and “stuff.” Unfortunately they may have broken the law.

Two items had the following description:

“Hyer Auction is going to best ever. How cute are these puppies???? A Morkie and a Malitpoo. Who will be the lucky family to take them home Feb. 27th??? These adorable puppies are from Texas Teacups in Snider Plaza. Each puppy will be auctioned separately. Puppies will be on-site the night of the event.

  • “Female malti-poo is hypoallergenic, non-shedding with a sweet loving personaility. They are smart and easy to train. Size will be 4-5 lbs when fully grown.
  • “Male Morkie- This puppy is also hypoallergenic, non-shedding with a fun and playful personality. Size will also be 4-5 lbs when full grown.”

They promoted the pups on their Facebook page complete with pictures and on Page 2 of  the February 26th Park Cities News.

Alas, according to Dallas City Ordinance Sec. 7-7.6, it’s illegal to auction an animal in the city of Dallas for any type of fundraising. True, the money was to benefit a University Park group and the puppies were provided by Teacup and Toy Pets Boutique located in Snider Plaza, but the auction took place in Dallas.

Let’s hope that someone stepped in and advised organizers to pull the pups from the auction bloc.

Oops Alert: Crystal Charity Ball Had A Zero Problem

Now, don’t get your beautifully Botoxed brow all wrinkled up, but there was a slight error reported today at the Crystal Charity Ball 10 Best Luncheon today in the tent adjacent to Neiman Marcus Downtown.

Nina Ricci fashions

Nina Ricci fashions

No, one of the 10 didn’t take a dive off the runway. And, no, the tent didn’t cave in. And, no, none of the wonderful Nina Ricci fashions suffered a malfunction. And, no, there weren’t any behind-the-scenes cat fights. Oh, please!

The oop’s that created a bit of consternation was one teeny, weeny zero. Well, it wasn’t that little a zero, but it was big enough to create a stir.

Of course, you want an explanation.

Karen Katz and Ralph Toledano

Karen Katz and Ralph Toledano

Well, it seems when the ever-adorable Neiman Marcus Group President/CEO Karen Katz welcomed the 447 guests, she reported that 2014 CCB Chair Robyn Conlon and her gals were aiming to raise $50M. Immediately, members of the 2014 CCB committee members opened their eyes wider than last night’s moon. Underwriters and past CCB members raised their eyebrows high enough to touch their hairlines.

Evidently, Karen “mistakenly read” $50,000,0000, instead of the actual goal of “$5,200,000.” Knowing Karen, she’s probably at her desk writing personal apologies to all 447 guests.

Now, look around the room. Everybody who has never made a mistake, raise your hand.

Oops Alert: White Hot Summer Night Postponed

Just learned from Eddie V’s cutie pie/managing partner GM Ricky Lopez that White Hot Summer Night has been postponed. Seems that a number of Mayor Mike Rawling‘s posse was out of town for a final summer sojourn, but they wanted to participate.

And then Restaurant Week was going to eat up the rest of August. So, the Dallas Men Against Abuse Fundraiser has been pushed off until September sometime. Definite date to come.

JUST IN: Crystal Charity Ball Charity Selection Applicant Orientation Date Change

There’s been a slight change of plans for prospective Crystal Charity Ball recipients. Originally the CCB team scheduled the CCB Charity Selection Applicant Orientation to take place on Thursday, September 18, at Communities Foundation of Texas.

Then calendars were compared and big, old, scary “Oops!” showed up. September 18 is North Texas Giving Day and CFT is busier than Uber drivers on Texas-OU weekend.

North Texas Giving Day*

North Texas Giving Day*

With just a little tweaking, a new date for the CCB orientation was picked. The new date is Tuesday, September 30.

While applications will be available online starting Monday, September 1, they must be mailed or hand-delivered by the Wednesday, October 29, deadline. No emailed applications will be accepted.

So, transfer the orientation meeting from September 18 to September 30. Everything else stays absolutely the same.

*Graphic provided by Communities Foundation of Texas

Oops Alert: Mother Nature Rains On WFAA-CH. 8’s Showing of Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Program

Know exactly what you’re thinking. Planned to watch the program on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge at 6:30 p.m. on WFAA-CH. 8 and all you saw was a brief slice of bridge experts in-between warnings about the hail storm in the area and the possible funnel cloud forming near Baylor Medical Center. Oh, and don’t forget all those shots of the photos of hail sent in by viewers.

Yes, once again Mother Nature forced WFAA-CH. 8 weather fella Pete Delkus to interrupt programming, but let’s face it — she’s a tough old broad who loves to surprise folks with her input. Who would have ever imagined a storm with hail, funnels, rain and locusts in June. . . oh, no locusts?

If and when the show is going to have a second showing, we’ll let you know.

In the meantime, let’s all remember that come August, this surprise rainstorm will be considered a blessing. Right.

Despite Delayed Opening, The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Partying Is Still On For March 2-4

First lighting test of Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (File photo)

Okay, so the city mothers and fathers and TXDOT have decided that all the finishing touches aren’t quite up to snuff for traffic to start on March 5. They’re now talking about a March 29 opening.

Ah, but what’s a delay of a couple of weeks after waiting years for it to get up and going?

But the party planners are rip and rearing to get the celebration started. Think baby shower before the baby is born. So, if you want to hear Lyle Lovett on Texas Independence Day (March 2) and party with all types of rich-and-famous and wannabe-rich-and-famous folks, get your tickets now.

If your budget won’t allow you to join the swellegants on Friday night, you can party your hearts out Saturday and Sunday at both the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Celebration on the not-open-bridge hosted by the Trinity Trust, and Bridge-o-Rama, which will be taking place on the west side of the Trinity.

And don’t forget the fireworks that will be all over the place. . . up in the sky.

PR Person Pushes The Wrong Button And The MSC Elves Head For Cover

Yipes! The MSC elves have been quivering in the cubbyholes and the root cellar. Queenie was up before the crack of dawn to attend the la-di-da arrival of the Emirates inaugural flight from Dubai

Emirates arrival participants

to DFW International. Due to a lack of caffeine and bulldozer media, she was in a very bad place of mind. Then it happened — the call that pushed our beloved Queenie into what we refer to as the “guillotine-state-of-mind.”

A pr person called. OK, so that didn’t push the old broad over the edge. It was the pr person’s question, “So I hear that you’re writing about one of my clients in the People Newspapers. What are you going to write?”

The elves who were with Q immediately swore they were victims of Taco Bell Salmonella and tried to make a quick “excuse me.” The vision of the hundreds wounded in the rail yard of “Gone With The Wind” suddenly seemed like Six Flags Over Texas. Elves scampered in all directions.

“You need to buy an issue of the paper when it comes out,” Q said trying to maintain some type of regal decorum.

(Elves’ note: Our beloved Queenie is a real journalistic groupie going to sleep at night with the AP Stylebook and Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” on her bed table.)

“So you’re not going to tell me what you’re going to be writing about my client?” the pr novice said with a nervous giggle in her voice realizing that all you-know-what was about to break loose.

In unison the shaking of elves’ heads looked like a wave at the Super Bowl.

“Excuse me, what did you say?” Queenie said as we all heard her teeth gnashing, saw her eyes bulging from their sockets and scrambled to find her a fresh cup of blood.

Luckily, the MSC headquarters has a bomb shelter and the elves have decided to hunker down there for the storm.

Valet Parker Blows His Cool

Everyone is under pressure nowadays with the economy squeezing tempers as well as pocketbooks. Some are starting to break at the seams.

For instance? How about tonight? A marvelous seated-dinner that was very manageable (300 people) emptied out to a valet parking team that was less than prepared for the situation (understaffed, with mostly new recruits).

As guests got steamed under their white collars and cashmere pashminas after waiting up to 45 minutes for their vehicles, one gal confronted the head car wrangler, asking if her car had been stolen.

To this the valet, who was obviously at the neck-wringing point, said, “These are all rich people; they don’t need to steal a car.”

OOPS ALERT: ‘nother Julia Sweeney Update

While others might write it off to the heat or an Internet fluke, we’ll own up — major overload of information from various sources. 

Let’s get it straight and right. The memorial service for Julia Sweeney is Saturday, August 27, at St. Michael and All Angels.

Not to worry. Julia is up above laughing. Andy Hanson is probably taking photos.

Our thanks to James “Sweetie Pie” Hatcher and Shirley “Adorable” Dunn Hanks for reminding us that we’re oh-so painfully human in a v-e-r-y nice way. Hugs and kisses to those who keep us honest.